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License Application Rights to Enumclaw's Liquor Store Brings 259K Winning Bid

Online auction for the license application rights of 167 state-run liquor stores in Washington state netted $30.75 million.

The at 167 state-run liquor stores statewide ended on Friday, April 20.

Dawit Yohannse of Bellingham won the right to sell liquor in Enumclaw with a bid of $259,100.

The sum of individual bids totaled $30.75 million, with rights awarded to 121 individual successful bidders, according to a statement from the WSLCB.

“Business Enterprise Director Pat McLaughlin and his team executed this highly successful and historic feat in the midst of so many other pressing activities related to the transition to private liquor sales,” said WSLCB Chair Sharon Foster. “I am proud to be part of such a capable and professional organization.”

The auction was a result of the passage of Initiative 1183, which directed the WSLCB to auction off the state store properties.

The state currently leases all the properties in the auction creating a unique circumstance for the auction.

Successful bidders earned the exclusive right to apply for a liquor license at the current location; however, the winners must now come to a lease agreement with the property owner.

If the auction winners are unable to secure a lease agreement, they may re-sell their right or request an alternative location within a one-mile radius of the existing location.

By the Numbers
• Total sum of individual bids       $30.75 million
• High all-store bid                      $4.6 million (will not count)
• Registered bidders                    551
• Total number of bids                 14,627
• Single stores to individuals        93
• Multiple stores to individuals     28
• Lowest winning bid                    $49,600 for Store 186 in Spokane (Division street)
• Highest winning bid                   $750,100 for Store 122 in Tacoma (72nd and Pacific)
• Increase in bids on final day      $23.7 million

Like many online auctions, if a bid was placed during the final five minutes of the auction, the end time automatically extended for another five minutes. The auction was scheduled to 4 p.m., but competitive bidding extended the auction until 6:25 p.m. Friday evening.

“Thank you to Joyce Turner and her team at the Department of Enterprise Services,” said WSLCB Administrative Director Pat Kohler, “They partnered with us from the beginning to ensure the auction was successful.”

*Editor's Note: Information provided by the WSLCB.

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